Top 7 ‘Playback Choices’ for Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan – The ruling star of Bollywood best known as ‘Romantic King’ has completed 25 years in film industry. In the past quarter-century, he has been a part of several romantic melodies of Bollywood music. Music directors have tried with many playback singers over the time and quite surprising most of them well-fitted with this popular actor. While music directors frequently used the matured voices of Kumar Sanu and Abhijeet during his early years, over the years Shah Rukh’s songs gained popularity through the soft voices of Sonu Nigam and the likes of youngsters like Arijit Singh. Through this column I would like to list top playback singers who sang the most popular songs of Shah Rukh Khan.

Kumar Sanu who gave early hits through Baazigar and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman


I would like to begin the list with the top voice of 1990s which gave the actor the most popular hits during his first phase of acting. It was a time when both Kumar Sanu and Udit Naryan’s voices were used to record Shah Rukh songs for a single movie. DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai belong to the all-time blockbusters and musical hits of Shah Rukh Khan for which both the leading voices of Bollywood industry were used to record Shah Rukh Khan songs.  


The iconic pose of SRK for DDLJ

Now back to Kumar Sanu. For his first released film, Deewane, Kumar Sanu’s voice was used to record Rishi Kapoor’s song who played a singer in the film and Vinod Rathod recorded Shah Rukh’s first duet song – Aise Deewange. But for movies such as Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and Chamatkar released the same year, Kumar Sanu recorded maximum songs for this budding star then. Is Pyar Se Meri Taraf Na Dekho and Yeh Hai Pyaar Pyaar for Chamatkar, and Seene Mein Dil Hai and Lovearia for Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman thus became the early chartbuster hits of Kumar Sanu-SRK combination. 

Yet it was the chartbuster songs of Baazigar released the following year, which made Kumar Sanu the ghost voice of Shah Rukh for a few more years. Kumar Sanu earned a Filmfare award for the song – Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein. Film’s title track was a huge chartbuster. Kumar Sanu later sang for Karan Arjun, DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Koyla, Koyla, Pardes and Duplicate for Shah Rukh. Zara Tasveer Se and Do Dil of Pardes, Ladki Badi of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Tujhe Dekho of DDLJ, Jaati Hu Mein of Karan Arjun and Dekha Tujhe To of Koyla are some of those melodious tracks.

Udit Narayan – The most successful singer for Shah Rukh


I believe Udit Narayan to be the most successful voice of Shah Rukh. As far as I know, their association began in 1993 with the film, Darr. Jaadu Teri Nazar was an instant chartbuster. As told above, many music directors tried successfully the voices of Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan for a single film for Shah Rukh and DDLJ, Koyla, Duplicate, Yes Boss and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai are among the best examples. Very often a third voice of Abhijeet has also been tried very often, apart from these two voices for Shah Rukh for a single album. Yes Boss and DDLJ are the best instances.

When Madan Mohan’s music was recreated for Veer Zaara

Udit became the ghost voice of Shah Rukh for the musical hit of 1997 – Dil To Pagal Hai, exactly the same year when songs of Pardes sung by Kumar Sanu rocked the whole nation. Udit Narayan sang many beautiful songs for Shah Rukh for DDLJ, Swades, Mohabbatein, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Ram Jaane, Duplicate, Koyla, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Dil Se, Veer Zaara, Devdas, Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam etc. Mein Yahan of Veer Zaara, Ruk Jaa of DDLJ, Ee Ajnabi of Dil Se, Woh Taara of Swades, Title track of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and all the romantic tracks of Dil To Pagal Hai and Devdas exclusively belongs to Udit.

Sonu Nigam – Who is not so far less than Udit Narayan 

Definitely Sonu Nigam became the ghost voice of Shah Rukh since early 2000s, and they gave some amazing combination songs throughout the decade. Top singer’s voice has always been used for SRK at every point of time and it always proved successful. This procedure is into action even right now when top singers like Arjit Singh sings for him.

When Sonu Nigam’s soft voice was used for Shah Rukh for Pardes (Yeh Dil Deewana) and Dil Se (Satrangi Re) in the second half of 1990s, the songs got appreciated. Sonu’s voice well expressed betrayal and pain through ‘Yeh Dil Deewana’ and the song got noticed too. Very soon Sonu Nigam’s voice got permanently tagged to Shah Rukh’s voice. I have described the top 15 songs sung by Sonu Nigam for King Khan. Read here.

One of the rare duets of Sonu and Lata, composed by A. R. Rahman for 1 2 Ka 4

When Sonu Nigam started singing for Shah Rukh, he was already a star. Yet I would like to mention a few songs that are exceptionally well. National award winning title track of Kal Ho Na Ho, Satrangi Re of Dil Se, Sooraj Hua Madham of K3G, Title track of Mein Hoon Na, Mein Agar Kahoo of Om Shanti Om,  Khamoshiyaan Gungunane of 1 2 ka 4 etc. Sonu has gracefully sung many of the popular romantic tracks of Shah Rukh and his voice of love was well synchronized by the romantic image of Shah Rukh onscreen.

Abhijeet Bhattacharya – Most successful with SRK songs


Abhijeet has never earned popularity similar to Udit, Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam in industry. Yet he created a niche of his own through a few trademark songs he sang since 1990s, and he sang many super hit songs for Shah Rukh. He delivered many hit songs during the formative years of Shah Rukh’s career, aside Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu. In fact, he earned his single Filmfare award for a Shah Rukh song from Yes Boss (Mein Koi Aisa Jeet Gao), the same year when Udit’s songs for Dil To Pagal Hai and Sanu’s songs for Pardes were highly noticed and appreciated in 1997.

Mein Koi Aisa Geet – The most popular song of Abhijeet which earned him the single Filmfare award

For a few films like Baadshah, Yes Boss and Chalte Chalte, majority of the songs were sung by Abhijeet for Shah Rukh, and songs got well-noticed. Mein Hoon Na, Anjaam, DDLJ, Phir Phi Dil Hai Hindustani and Asoka are a few more. Roshni Se of Asoka, Tauba of Chalte Chalte, Badi Mushkil Hai of Anjaam, Tumhe Jo Meine of Mein Hoon Naa and Zara Za Jhoomloo of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge etc are some of the chartbuster hits. Also read: Abhijeet’s hit songs for Suniel Shetty.


Sukhwinder Singh – Who shot to fame through Chayya Chayya 

Dard-E-Disco song from Om Shanti Om

Chayya Chayya of Dil Se was the turning point of Sukhwinder’s singing career. His high pitch voice was later used for several songs featuring Shah Rukh and most of them turned to be smash hits. Dard-E-Disco of Om Shanti Om, Haule Haule of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Phir Raat Kati of Paheli and Title track of Chak De India are a few more. Though Sukhwinder has sung only less number of songs for Shah Rukh, they have always received overwhelming response from music lovers.


Arjit Singh – The latest sensation 

happy new year songs

Manwa Laage from Happy New Year

Arjit Singh’s voice is mostly associated with actors of 20s and 30s. Yet when his voice was used to record one of the most popular duets in the recent times – Gerua of Dilwale, the song garnered a massive response from music lovers. He also recorded the chartbuster Manwa Lage of Happy New Year for Shah Rukh and both these are duets.

Vinod Rathod – Who sang the first hit song for Shah Rukh


Aise Deewangi – The first released song of Shah Rukh, marking a new era of his romantic songs in Bollywood

And last, but not the least Vinod Rathod also needs special mention in this list. Aise Deewangi is a popular duet from Deewana which featured Shah Rukh and Divya Bharti. Deewana was the first release of Shah Rukh. Obviously Aise Deewangi becomes his first song. Since then Vinod Rathod has sung a few songs for Shah Rukh, and most of them got noticed too. His voice was used to record maximum songs of Zamana Deewana.

Apart from Kumar Sanu, Anu Malik also used Vinod Rathod’s voice to record the songs of Baazigar. The duets – Kitaabein Bahut Se and Ee Mere Hum Safar featuring SRK and Shilpa Shetty were sung by Vinod Rathod. Mein Hoon To Pagal Munda of Army, Title track of Chaahat and Zamaana Deewana and Gulashan Kali-Kali of Guddu are a few more.


swades shah rukh khan

Kailash Kher for SRK

Though a few, voices of Shaan, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan, Kunal Ganjawala, Roop Kumar Rathod, Gopi Sundar, Vishal Dadlani, Rabbi Shergill, Mohit Chauhan, Raghav Mathur, Amitabh Bhattacharya and Shafqat Amanat Ali have also been successfully tested for Shah Rukh Khan. Among all singers, I believe his voices of 1990s and 2000s are far better than recent experiments. I would like to add an important point before concluding this article. Though brilliant eye expressions and killing smile gave Shah Rukh ‘The King of Romance’ title in Bollywood, the songs sung by the talented playback singers quoted above too played a magnificent role to build this image perfect without any flaws since his formative years.
You can read a few more SRK articles here. Just click on the links
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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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